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Speaking in Tongues is on the Rise in American Churches

According to new research from Duke University’s Mark Chaves, several kinds of Christian worship experiences—including speaking in tongues—are on the rise among American churchgoers. Chaves has been studying church worship since 1998, and in that time, “spontaneous jumping, shouting or singing” has increased by 9 percentage points. But perhaps most notably, speaking in tongues has jumped by 5 percentage points—not a huge number, but definitely noteworthy given how controversial the practice was even in a few years ago.

Commenting on his National Congregations Study, Chaves told The Atlantic that the current trend in American religion is for worship and church experiences that are “more emotionally engaging, not just intellectually engaging.”

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